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Gerry Adams TD urges Government to recognise State of Palestine

19 January, 2018 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has described the decision in recent days by U.S. President Donald Trump to substantially cut US funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNWRA) as "dangerous and irresponsible.”

The Sinn Féin leader has urged the Government to move urgently to implementing the Oireachtas decision from 2014 to recognise the State of Palestine.

He has also called on the government to demand the immediate release by Israel of 16 year old Ahed Tamimi.

Teachta Adams said:

“Israel’s apartheid system continues to cause great hardship and poverty for the people of Palestine. The illegal building of settlements, the monstrous separation wall and the theft of Palestinian land and water rights, all ignore the rights of the Palestinian people. The situation in that region grows more desperate each day.

"The fabric of life for Palestinians is rooted in fear; it is arbitrary and constantly changing at the whim of the Israeli authorities. 

"Currently 350 children are being held in Israeli prisons. Among them is 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi who faces up to 10 years in prison for slapping Israeli soldiers and opposing the harassment of her family and community.

"President Trump’s decision in December to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the U.S. Embassy there in clear breach of international agreements as exacerbated an already difficult situation.

"According to the UN at least 345 Palestinian children were injured in clashes with the Israeli forces. At least 17 Palestinians have been killed.

"The decision by President Trump this week to make a substantial cut to US funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) is dangerous and irresponsible.

"It will significantly add to the hardships faced by Palestinian citizens in the Palestinian territories. UNWRA funding is critical to the functioning of hospital and schools Two weeks ago the Tánaiste visited the Middle East and met with President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu. 

"He also met Palestinian school children. The government should now join the international call for Ahed Tamimi to be immediately released. It should also move speedily toward implementing the Oireachtas decision three years ago to recognise the state of Palestine and to upgrade the Palestinian Mission in Dublin to that of a full Embassy."

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